World Celebration: Chaos behind the stage, Perfection on the ice.
- Or how Jenna lip-syncs to a green Kevin.

Part 2

By Mireille Geurts & Titia Tolsma

Photos © Absolute Skating

Speaking of programs being created in a few days, how about one day, or even just in few hours during a car ride? We’re speaking of Ruben Blommaert now. He experienced during one of the test shows that his solo program of 4.15 really was too long at the later part of the show, so he cut the music to 2.40 and created his new choreography in his head during the trip to Liedekerke. Practiced it on the ice for a while before the show and not a single soul could tell. Looked great, good job Ruben!

We saw some “old” faces, as in familiar to us, as well as new talents on the ice. Already earlier mentioned Ira van Nut would be one of the latter. Spunky little bit of energy on the ice, and surprisingly skating with her glasses on! She is one to keep your eyes on if you ask us, but judge for yourself by watching <<this video>>

We were happy to see Kaat van Daele, Isabelle Pieman and Ellen Mareels again. Kaat we learned to know in last years show, and met since then several times, including in the Dutch summer camp in Den Bosch. She’s a great skater to watch, she told us that she will finish school this year and then devote one year fully to skating, to see if she got a real future in this. We really hope so, she’s energetic and interesting on the ice and a fun friendly person off. Oh, and she likes to wear at least something pink each day…

Isabelle Pieman, a skater most fans know from her participation at international competitions, we also saw a lot of in Antwerp, at the European SOI shows. She’s always very graceful and beautiful to watch. Like more skaters she has some issues keeping up with the expenses of skating and really hopes to find a sponsor. She’s a Brussels resident, but trains in Liedekerke.
Ellen Mareels, former eligible skater at international competitions, participated at this years Belgian/Dutch cooperation of the so familiar Dancing on Ice format.

And she brought with two of the celebrities participating in it as well, Staf Coppens – skating with multiple Belgian champion Monique Van der Velde – and Wim Soetaers – who would not skate, but sing. Which was really a nice treat for the local audience. Ok, both are friends of Kevin too, how much better can it get?

We have to give a very special mention to Kurt van Tricht; skater, trainer, developer of the Icefantillusion site and in general arranger of a zillion things, and Jeroen Vandevelde; the worlds most entertaining skating crab, for basically adopting us the entire time and showing us around the place to basically everywhere, allowing us to do all we wanted and needed to bring this review to you. Thanks a lot guys, a huge hug to you from us!


Between Saturday and Sundays shows we had the chance to sit down with an exhausted Jenna and Kevin to have a short talk about the show and how the two of them are doing. As it turned out, at 1 am on Saturday night in the bar above the icerink was not such a brilliant idea and ended up by them watching the little videos we made on the digital camera instead. So we tried again on Sunday in the beginning of the afternoon and this time it did work out, later as planned though, of course. Jenna did her make up meanwhile, and Kevin finally could sit down a bit, wearing someone else’s vest btw, because he… forgot his.

So about the show yesterday, happy?? That question did not need an answer, the smiling faces say enough. Did you have fun?

Kevin: No. -But laughs while saying that – Too much tension the first show, but of course it is nice during the show. Also when preparing, when you work on it its fun, and when it works it’s really fun. Only, especially with our numbers together, we aimed too high. They are really heavy.
Jenna: Yeah they are really too tough.
Both say at the same time: Especially the Jungle program.
Jenna: It’s like 7 minutes and I already do the solo before that <<video of Jenna's solo>>
Kevin: And the finale is also 7.50 minutes

How long are you on the ice altogether?
Kevin: I am on the ice about 30 minutes and she 24. That’s less than last year, then I was on the whole show.
Jenna: Yes but it’s more today, because you’re gonna skate the extra number with Wim. As will I, Kevin will do the opening and I will do the first number after the intermission.
Kevin: He’s going to help you though, the song is called “without words”

All of us laugh, poor Jenna, she still has to learn some more Flemish, and put up with all the joking about it.

What was the nicest moment for you?
Kevin: The response in the finale, the relief – Jenna nods fiercely - and the worst moment for me was when the music stopped and went back to the beginning in the Safri Duo part.
Jenna: I thought poor guy, he’s going to have to start all over again.

We don’t think many people noticed that.
Jenna: Kevin did. -Laughs
Kevin: Kevin did yes – chuckles- but in the show it still worked though
Jenna: Yes it was fine, it wasn’t a big cut in the music, it was more like, how does he fill it in?

So we can assume you are not gonna do it again?? –laughs-
Kevin: Well, we tried it in the practice and it works now, soo. I don’t know what happened yesterday . I think someone must have done something odd or so. <<Take a look at Sundays Safri Duo, did it really go ok then??>>

What was the nicest part/program?
Jenna: I like Jungle!
Kevin: Definitely

Why, because you make her lip-sync?
Jenna: -laughs-
Kevin: No it’s just …I don’t know
Jenna: You already wanted to do it 2 years ago
Kevin: Yeah so finally it happened!!

A moment of silence after that outburst of happiness and due to the exchanged looks between the two lovebirds, we remember that next year they can’t hold a show in May because of their planned wedding. To do that on skates would go a bit far, even for them, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some show plans in the making. You told us yesterday about your adjusted plans for the next show?
Kevin: Yeah, it is probably going to be at Christmas with all Christmas themed programs. It’s not gonna be on large scale like now, with VIP sections and singers and celebrities and guest skaters from other countries and all, but of course all skaters from here will still participate so it will still be – pauses to think – a nice show.

And the new larger project you mentioned?
Kevin: Mmm not having anything really planned yet, but what I do have in mind is that one part will all be old music and one part newer. Without a real story in between, just something show like: big band, nice costumes and things like that.

We are sure he has way more details in mind than just that, but if this is all he’s willing to reveal right now it’s fine by us. We do have some last questions, not related to the show. Kevin how is your back?
Not too bad, thank you. I am training normally again. And contrary to all rumours on internet, - where do they come from? - I am planning on staying eligible and competing.

Any plans for new programs you want to share?
I do not have anything ready yet but I am thinking of doing a short program in the style of the Safri Duo program I had 2 years ago, and the long program on Sheherazade, but then really modern cut. Last year I had my short program all ready now, but I wanted to do that music for 4 years already.

Sheherazade eh?? We opted to suggest a pink costume, but for some reason backed out on that one…

Jenna how are your injuries?
The foot is doing well, I am training again. Last week I jumped 3 flips fine. The only jump I am not doing yet is the triple Lutz, that will come later.

What are your plans concerning your training/programs?
I will keep my long program and just have a new short, but I haven’t decided on it yet. I hope to be going to California end of June/July, to work with Lorna Brown – She choreographed for me before and I am happy she will do it again.

Your main rival Vanessa James just moved to pair skating?
Yeah, I heard about that just 2 days ago, but I do not think she has already decided yet which discipline she’s gonna do. I am not sure though. Anyway, it won’t make any difference to me.

The pair elements in the show, aren’t they pretty bad for your injuries?
Jenna: No why would they be, I just swing in the air all the time. –Laughs - And Kevin’s been fine too, so no…

You knew each other for a long time, being friends, can you tell us, how did the spark between you come about?
Jenna: I don’t know…Kevin?
Kevin: Mmm I don’t know.
Jenna: I was here for a couple of weeks and then, I don’t know, we were just friends. . It was really strange. Then for 2-3 months we didn’t really have a clue what was going on, I went home and then I came back for the show. And then we felt like something was going on. I had already decided I was gonna leave Coventry and one thing led to the next and next thing I know I was here. I already made the decision to start training here, after the injury I wanted a fresh start. And then, it just happened… it was a nice benefit. –Laughs-

Some nice benefit, one we’d all wish for…


What more could we have asked for this weekend? Nothing we can think of. Oh, there is one thing after all, couldn’t it have lasted just a tad longer?? - Sigh -



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